BIM – It’s all about the information

There are clearly many advantages to be gained from producing a co-ordinated, data rich model.  Early 3D visualisation can help the client understand what they are getting, the design team to see how their particular systems and components fit within the structure, and various arrangements or ideas can be investigated virtually before getting to site.

However, it is important to realise that the core objective of BIM is the management of information, and this should include all relevant information produced throughout the life of the building or construction entity, not just the model – or data held within the model.

The UK Government has identified their need to have the right level of information about a project available at the right point in the procurement process to enable them to make better informed decisions which, in turn, should result in cost savings through reduction of abortive work, reworking and wastage.  The adoption of BIM for all relevant information, from inception to demolition, can only help this process, but to maximise the benefits available, the information must be accessible to all the intended users.  In view of this, perhaps a wider debate is yet to be had on what should be in the model and what simply linked to.

The management of information is not a new idea.  In fact, all major construction projects employ a document management system to arrange and make available the vast number of documents and data generated as part of the design and construction processes.  The key is to capture this and make it available in a readily accessible format to the team charged with operating the building throughout its life.  A robust system introduced at an early stage can avoid having to reproduce data again after handover.

Further information:

Software for the Future . Call for participants for 31 May 2012 workshop. Closing date: 16:00 15 May 2013

BIM – management for value, cost and carbon improvement. A report for the Government Construction Client Group Building Information Modelling (BIM) Working Party Strategy Paper

About johnsands123
John Sands Principal Consultant, Sustainable Buildings Group John has recently joined BSRIA’s Sustainable Buildings Group to drive the development of BIM within BSRIA, to help industry understand the principles and practices which define BIM, and give support in making best use of this in their everyday operations via the BIM Centre, a joint venture with BRE which will be launched shortly, and the BSRIA BIM Network group. Prior to joining BSRIA, John worked at Hoare Lea where he was involved in a trial to automatically generate specifications from objects as they are inserted into the BIM model. This work will continue as a collaboration between Hoare Lea and BSRIA. John is actively involved in industry discussions on classification structures for BIM, and represents the CIBSE at CPIC committee level on this topic. He also sits on the CIBSE BIM Group, currently looking at developing standard information presentation techniques for use in BIM environments. John has a particular interest in the capture of data for use throughout the full life cycle of the building, covering such activities as performance monitoring in use and facilities management.

One Response to BIM – It’s all about the information

  1. Document management is very important, but curating archives is the roe of a librarian, albeit supported by a system. There are many, many, roles where lifting the bureaucratic burden and turning it into a specialized support service can serve more niche concerns.

    Consider, for example, energy efficiency. With good document management, if it is found that performance has deterioriate, it is possible to refer back to previous better settings. The first ste an energy manager mst take following success s to have it documented in such a way that it is repeatable,!

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